Pet Suffocation Awareness

Pet Suffocation Awareness

These dogs' stories are shared on Prevent Pet Suffocation's Facebook page

Pet suffocation in snack, cereal, and other bags and containers happens often

It happens quickly and to both cats and dogs. Many people have returned home or walked into another room to find a bag covering their beloved pet's head. It happens to dogs more often but does happen to cats as well. 

While some fortunate pets are saved by timely and appropriate CPR, their numbers pale in comparison to those who don't survive sticking their head into a bag.

Please explore and share the resources on this page. Together we can prevent pet suffocation!

And please take our survey! The information gathered in this survey will be used in the ongoing campaign to affect change and prevent these devastating pet suffocation tragedies.

Take Our Survey

The survey takes 2 mins and is anonymous.
Thank you for helping.

Prevent Pet Suffocation — What to Do

1. Empty snack, cereal, and dry pet foods into resealable hard containers

store snacks and kibble in containers to prevent pet suffocationTall, thin, resealable food storage containers - such as these options – will help to protect your pet and keep your food fresher too!

2. Dispense snacks in bowls

While eating on the couch, in the backyard, or anywhere your pet could have access when you're not paying attention, put your snack in a bowl instead of keeping it in its original container or bag.

prevent pet suffocation put away chip bagYikes! It's happened that people have fallen asleep watching a movie and their dog has gotten into the bag!

3. Cut or tear all chip and food bags before discarding

cut snack bags to lay flat to prevent pet suffocation
Two cuts are best – one across the bottom of the bag and one up the side, so it becomes flat. Dispose of all bags in sturdy trashcans that are covered or behind a closet or cabinet door. 


4. Beware of high-risk events and times of the year

keep your dog entertained with a stuffed kongTake extra care around the holidays, big sports events, birthday parties, graduations, summer BBQs, and any other time large groups of people are gathering at your home.

5. Restrict your pet's access to the kitchen

use a baby gate for your petsDon't give your dog(s) unsupervised "run of the house" until you're sure of their safety. Ideally confine them to one room/area of your home or their crate whenever you leave them alone. This article has great tips on crate training dogs.

6. Don't give your pets a "taste for" people snacks

give your dog a treatDon't train with or otherwise intentionally give your pet snacks, chips, or other similar "people treats."

7. Help increase awareness about pet suffocation

share pet suffocation awarenessSpread word about the danger of pet suffocation. Share videos and resources from this site and others. 

For those of you with young children or teenagers at home, be sure to highlight this danger to them so they will also know to exercise caution with these bags around your family pets.

8. Help Bonnie honor Blue's memory

Blue dog pet suffocationVisit and help spread word of Bonnie Harlan's Prevent Pet Suffocation website and Facebook page. Please also read, sign, and share her petition to improve chip bag labeling. Bonnie has been doing a great job of spearheading this important cause – and she regularly hears from distraught pet owners who have suffered through this.

VIDEO: See Blue's Story.  A dog can suffocate in minutes and it can happen to the most loving, careful pet owner.


1. At least 2–3 pets are lost each week in the U.S. to chip and other snack bag suffocation – and these are just the ones that get reported!

2. Many people whose dogs have suffocated in these types of bags were only gone from the house for 20–30 minutes!

3. It can take as little as 3–5 minutes for a pet to die from suffocation in these types of bags!

National Pet Suffocation Awareness Week

pet suffocation awareness

Nov 28 – Dec 4, 2021 
Share stories and graphics to help raise awareness and save lives.